I’m writing this today as a public service. You may notice that your mail client typically contains 3 address entries: To, CC, and BCC.
To is self explanatory, but the other two are often misused. CC, or carbon copy, sends the same message to whatever addresses are in that field. What people often forget is that everyone who receives the email can view all the addresses associated with the message. To solve that problem, every email client uses BCC or blind carbon copy. This sends the same message to all the addresses, but hides them so that it appears that they are the only one receiving the email. This is great for sending a message to your entire address book without everyone knowing who you have contact information for. Sadly, spammers have also capitalized on this feature, as many now send messages in this way.
Next time you send emails to multiple people, remember the benefits of using BCC. Otherwise, people may know you’re friends with email@example.com.
If you’re still using a POP email account, you should have a look at other providers. Gmail recently began offering IMAP service for its clients, and it is a much better way of organizing your email.
IMAP is different from POP email because it keeps all messages and attachments on the central Gmail servers. This means that regardless of how or where you download and view messages – whether on your computer, iPod, iPhone or other device – you see the same inbox, with the same unread/read messages. This is different than POP because POP requires you to download all new messages onto your computer, which makes retrieval from different places awkward.
I use Apple’s Mail.app for all of my email duties, and its integration with IMAP accounts presents some unique challenges. One of the things it does is create a complete deposit for all the messages ever sent with your account in a special folder. In itself not a bad thing, in fact it can be quite handy, but it means that you now have duplicate copies of most of your messages, and twice as many unread messages.
Until Apple and Google coordinate their efforts and make Gmail as seamless on the Mac as they have with the iPod/iPhone, there are a few things you can do to make the experience easier. One of the ways is to use this hint from MacOSXHints.com. It gets rid of the duplicate mailboxes in Gmail. Next, you have to find a way to get rid of the double mail count. To do this, I came up with a simple Applescript that is evaluated whenever there is a new message.
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